The strong working relationship that Michael Green has built with NWSCC over his term of office was again in evidence last night as that organisation met for its monthly meeting in the community centre. No other Highland Councillors were present - this observer was late so perhaps they had offered their apologies.
Both Michael and Alastair Noble had outlined how they see multiple benefits coming to the community in the fields of health and social through effective use of the new Nairnshire Area Partnership which they see as an ideal vehicle in the new era of community empowerment emanating from Holyrood. The CC and Michael Green are most definitely singing from the same hymn sheet and although some of the melodies have been familiar for many years there does seem to be genuine hope that a new dawn is tantilisingly just around the corner now.
Michael outlined how he sees the community councils becoming more involved in the Partnership with spokespersons on many topics emerging to contribute to the process. He said:
"Because if people know there is a meaningful forum and it can actually feed into the process and see changes and see results then people will start to come along to these meetings and will want to put themselves forward."
Dick Youngson, the Chair of NWSCC said: "We will now make an effort to get the eight community councils together and meet as often as necessary."
Alastair, who has for many, many years been calling for more powers to be devolved to Nairn was also equally enthusiastic. He no longer seems so weary with the struggle and obviously believes too that there is at last real opportunity. He felt that we should be writing a new Nairnshire plan based on hard facts instead of the sort of things that caused friction in the past such as the plan for doubling Nairn's population.
It chimes well too with the Nairnshire BID development, another initiative to make the most out of current thinking and structures coming from Central Government that makes it easier for communities like Nairn to access cash.
Coming soon too according to Michael will be a wide range of development proposals for the harbour area that will taken on a consultation road show locally before engaging with Highland Council and HIE.
As we move to the May Council elections Michael Green looks to be close to the epicentre of proposals that have the potential to alter Nairn's future for the better.
To this observer it looks like our other three Highland councillors have some serious catching up to do. Have they missed the boat in articulating a vision for our community? Do they see their job as stepping out of the confines of the Glenurquhart Road parameters and thinking a bit out of the box on how we can move things forward in imaginative ways? If they do, then to this observer, they have singularly failed to express anything as well as their colleague Michael Green. If any new candidates of any calibre come forward for the May elections then perhaps one or two of them might fall off their perch.